It all comes as Trump adjusts to his second month with a new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to overhaul the White House team during a presidency-defining battle against the coronavirus.

The White House is seeing a historic pace of turnover among its highest-ranking aides, a musical chairs environment as the president faces his greatest leadership test and the biggest threat to his 2020 campaign. Some allies say he’ll need stability now more than ever to be able to bring the coronavirus crisis under control and preserve his shot at reelection.

Trump’s top officials — influential roles in the executive office of the president — have had a turnover rate of 86 percent since Trump took office, according to research by Brookings Institution senior fellow Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, whose work focuses on White House personnel, presidential reelection campaigns and trends in presidential travel.

In new findings, Tenpas calls the rate of turnover for 11 pandemic-related positions in the administration from Trump’s inauguration until December 2019 “extraordinary.” One of the key pandemic jobs, the deputy national security adviser, has been held by six separate Trump officials in less than three years, according to Tenpas’ research.Current and former senior administration officials argue it matters less and less who surrounds the president in top jobs since he tends to rely mostly on his own instincts. Still, turnover during a pandemic can also scramble the processes for evaluating and vetting information and giving it to the president — as well as the trust that comes from working with the same people in tough situations.

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